Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hello from India

I did not think it will take me this log to write my first post while in India. I have had the best time so far. My family has returned back home. Most of them are still in transit, considering the news of snow storms and airport closures, I hoping for their safe and hassle-free return to their final destination.

In past couple of weeks I visited many sari shops, markets and taken few pictures of life on the street side. I have been updating my instagram at SujataShah7 with daily pictures textilediary. It's been fun looking for daily inspirations.
Here are few pictures I am sharing for the first time.

This was the first thing I saw at Mumbai International Airport while walking to the baggage claim.

I looked closely and this is what I saw.

If you ever come to Mumbai, the new airport is absolutely beautiful. It is leaded with all kinds of regional art representing modern and ancient culture of India.

I took this picture last night when I dropped Kavita off to the airport. I am looking forward to my return trip just to see the rest of the airport.
Here are some pictures of my last few days on the streets on Mumbai.

It's loud and dusty, chaotic but colorful. My kids had a fabulous time. It seems like every visit they learn new things about themselves, make connections with their heritage and culture. It was fun and emotional to watch them enjoy their visit. All three of them returned home with hopes to come back soon. I am enjoying my time with mom. From tomorrow on, I plan to reconnect with old friends from grade school and college. Meet some quilters in Mumbai and learn a few things from them.

Hope you are busy creating during this winter. Me on the other hand, just collecting inspirations.. It is very easy to do!

If you haven't had chance to visit the Cultural Fusion Quilts blog, I urge you to check it out. It has become quite an eye candy.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Random Thougths at the Trafic Light

It was cold today. Well, the Sun was out and it was warmer than yesterday, but still cold enough to want to run to the car after a very sweaty Zumba class. While running to the car in the parking lot, all I could think of was to get inside and turn on the heat so my sweaty long hair wouldn't turn into icicles.
I pulled out of the parking lot and came to a red light at the traffic light. There has been lot of construction going on for past six months on the road. The city is finally doing much needed widening of the road to accommodate the recent growth.  Waiting for my left turn signal, I saw the newly installed traffic light, all covered with tarp and burlap behind old/still working, existing light. I thought to myself, ''I did not notice that before!'' 

As I drove further up, I started noticing things: Neatly lined up orange cones and cans with couple exceptions which may have been knocked over by some drivers. The cement dividers that had moved a few times and the lane markings have shifted to accommodate the construction crew and to divert the traffic. I could still see the old markings and where the lane used to be but new road is emerging. There are new sidewalks and turn lanes with clean bright concrete along with patched up pot-holes on make-shift lanes. I have gone up and down this road almost every single day. These observations were nothing new, but today there was a parallel  thought pattern that went along during my ten minutes' drive. There was chaos along with harmony. 
Contrast is a beautiful thing!

This same road used to be a one-lane highway about one hundred years ago. It was the only link between the mines up north and nearby highway. As I write, I wonder about numerous layers of tar this road is covered with up until now.

Those who have not witnessed this change as it happening, will never know the past. From them it will be a wide, clean and efficient route connecting them from point A to B.  
Layer is an interesting element. What you see on surface is not the only thing present. Every other layer from the past, may be covered or unknown to the world, remains as crucial as the one on surface, like life itself.

Life is beautiful when all those layers, old and new, combine with new textures and bring peace and calm.  

Speaking of unknowns and layers, I have yet to share many layers of my life with you all.

This might be my last long post for six to seven weeks.Layers I am about to reveal have been building up for few months now.

Do you have my book?
I am leaving for India in couple of days to attend my nephew's wedding. It is time to surround myself with colors and textures not just in the studio or my house but everywhere I turn. I will post pictures on my Instagram (therootconnection) and The Root Connection facebook page (link on the side-bar). I had planned this trip for a while but the news had to take the back seat and let my book bask in all the glory! 

After the wedding, I will travel to Rajasthan and Gujarat with few friends from college. In 2012, I traveled to Rajasthan with my family, most of them are engineers. This time it will be with my artist friends and to the cities I missed during my previous visit. That's six sets of eyes and cameras focused on all things arts! Can you imagine that? 

We met when we were 16. It's will be 30 years since we graduated as graphic designers. No matter how long the time between each visit, our friendship is still the same. My visits are hectic yet I have never left Mumbai without spending time with my best friends. Traveling together is going to be a special experience. We all will be adding another layer to our lives. 

I also plan to meet people who make Godharis. My wish is to learn from people who know it first hand. I hope I get to stitch with them. A visit to the Textile Museum in Ahmadabad and meet folk artists in Gujarat is going to be a treat! 

That's all for now! I am taking copies of my book with me. My mom is so eager to see it and I am anxious to see her face when she opens the pages for the very first time.

I will stay connected with pictures and quick posts from the land of peacocks and paisleys, I promise!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Baby Quilt for Jack

Our neighbor's daughter, Chandra had a baby boy! I could not be happier for this young mom who we all adore so much! I made this bright blue baby quilt to match the clear blue skies of eastern Washington.

42.5'' x 42.5''
I had every intention of making it before the baby's arrival but obviously that did not happen. Little Jack is now three months old. It's said that babies see black and white clearly from early weeks of their lives. He is pass that age but I think if the front didn't appeal to him, he will certainly be entertained with the back.

I used the rail fence blocks from my book. The same block I used to make the bag for Houston Quilt Market. ''Does this make me look too patriotic?'' The quilt could ask but I believe it looks fun and playful, perfect for a baby boy.  

These blocks remind me of Gumby! Do you remember that show? I wonder if it still runs on TV. My younger son loved watching that show. Gautam was not happy with those googly eyed characters with stretched out arms and legs sliding all over the town!

I found this image of these collectible characters here .

I found Dr. Seuss fabric for the backing and I think it is perfect because the memories of the books go back to the times when Chandra read those to kavita. 

Check out the wedding gift I had made for her here. 

First finish of the year is on its way to a new home!

Maria asked me to post the full picture of my Driftwood quilt.

Made with used clothing.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

Life continues to be fluid.

My children and have come and gone back to their business. We had the best few days together. On their last day at home we spent few silly moments taking our annual family photograph. Always so much fun to fit everyone in the frame. Thank goodness for that boy on the left who has long arms!

I even managed to sew a bit while they were here. This quilt is still in progress but I will post the pictures of finished quilt soon.

Set of mug rugs.. Well, let's say I made few sets of mug rugs this season.

My first day of 2015 began with a sweet email from a blogger friend who had just received her copy of my book. From there on, my time decided to flow in completely different direction than what I had planned for. Did I say life is fluid? I ended up going to one of the local quilt shop to buy wool batting and found this instead!

Imagine my joy! This is the first time I saw my book on a shelf of a quilt shop! Something fun had to happen today. After all, it is the first of the year! On my way back I also stopped at my local Barnes and Noble to see if my books had made it on their shelves...  

Yes it did! What a great feeling!  Life keeps changing for better or for worse with time but something stays constant no matter how it flows.

Hope your day was filled with something bright too.
Happy 2015!!!

Back from Two Years of Hiatus

They say you never can go back home.  I wonder if that is what this is. In my mind, I know that isn't what I am trying to do. Having mov...